There has a lot more traffic on the creek this summer.  (OK, maybe there isn’t a lot more traffic, but because I’m out walking the dog, I’m noticing a lot more folks enjoying the creek.)   I’ve seen folks in canoes and I’ve seen kids in the creek down near Lynnhurst.  Then yesterday I saw five tween girls with huge inner tubes heading down toward the water.

The inner tubes reminded me of going down the Brule in northern Wisconsin with my folks as a kid.  The tubing company would take us up to a drop off point and we would tube back down to where our car was parked.  Nothing too rough – a perfect bit of river for a family with fairly young kids.  It was just a couple of hours and back then nobody felt the need to have an extra inner tube for a cooler of beverages.  The only problem with tubing was changing into dry clothes in the car afterwards; my sister and I were SURE somebody would see something.

So it was fun to see the girls hurrying down to the creek with the inner tubes and now I’m wondering where I can rent tubes of my own!

Tell me what you did for summer fun as a kid!

32 thoughts on “Tubing!”

  1. We weren’t big vacation people. Summer for me meant staying at home, going to the library, playing with friends in the neighborhood, and spending time with my cousins and grandparents on their farms. We went to my Great Uncle Albert’s place near Baudette several times, and that was always fun. My mother was always worn out after teaching and liked to take it easy in the summers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My mom always said that our vacations up north were more work then she liked. Most of my childhood we stayed at the family homestead in Solon Springs and that meant we had to take bedding, we had to do grocery shopping, we had to do all of our own cooking Nomny told me later in life there was a lot of cleaning involved as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This is an area in which I am eternally grateful to my Uncle JIm, who knew how to help a kid have fun. He took us horseback riding, mulberry picking, traveling, camping, and hiking. There were trips to the Floyd river, a large dam (Gavin’s Point Dam in South Dakota), and the Pipestone National Monument where I spent a lot of time trying to see the man in the rock. NOthing was more fun, though, than the Remsen Swimming Pool, in nearby Remsen, Iowa. He let us dive for canning rings, splash each other, and “attack” him so he could fend us off in the water.

    All of this was a counterpoint to my mother, who was all about the work and the chores. Her life was stressful, therefore she lost all sense of fun or joy. Uncle Jim is also an area of grief. He just turned 87 years old. He watches Fox News (or perhaps whatever else #45 says to watch) 24/7 now, so it makes it impossible to have a relationship with him—he will only talk about #45 and argue about it. A recent family story verifies he thinks #45 is “the best president ever.” I just can’t go there with him. But I sure miss him.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. I grew up a few blocks from Lake Harriet (about a mile north of where I live now), so summers were about biking to the lake. I remember going first in a little seat on the back of my mom’s bike, then graduating to being able to keep up with the rest of the family on my own bike. As I got older I was able to go by myself with friends – sometimes packing a lunch and staying most of the day. By the time I got to high school the beach was less of a draw, mostly because the friends I had then had not grown up going to the beaches at Lake Harriet, though we still found ourselves at the Rose Gardens and other parks surrounding it as they were better places to spend an afternoon than inside a mall…

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I was a kid in the best moment ever to be a kid in this country, the 1950s. The baby boom meant there were a great many kids of the same age, so we had many potential playmates right in our neighborhood. Adults weren’t freaked out about security issues at that time, meaning kids were free to roam and play without adult supervision. My childhood featured all those kid games that now seem historical but once were just what we did: Capture the Flag, Pom Pom Pullaway, Hide ‘n Seek, Captain May I . . . and all the others. In my home town (Ames) kids ran up and down the alleys, playing in a part of the world adults mostly ignored. I played a lot with archery, doing stuff that would have terrified my mother if she’d had any clue what I was up to.

    Additionally, kids were encouraged to participate in summer programs like supervised swimming, library groups and others. I joined a drama group, landing the lead role in a play that was broadcast three times on local TV.

    It was a golden time to be a kid. We had buddies and freedom and loads of free time. Nothing like that existed for kids before the Fifties, and nothing like it exists now.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The 1970s in South Minneapolis were a lot like that. Kickball or jumprope in the street, hopscotch, rollerskating. I lived a half block from a school, so the neighborhood gang often went there to use the playground and yards for games. My mom had a bell that she would ring when it was dinnertime – we were the “early” dinner on the block, so everyone knew when it rang it was time to start finishing up and head home.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. Husband spent lots of time in Sheboygan, WI in the summer at the quarry, a large limestone quarry that was filled with spring water. He could dive and jump off the sides. There was a beach and a concession stand. The lifeguards played top 40 hits on loudspeaker systems.. You could rent rafts. It was about a 1/4 mile across and he could walk there from his house. It was stocked with fish.

    He always lived near water, be it Lake Michigan or Lake Winnebago or swimming pools. His family also visited relatives in Eastern Ohio in the summer.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. I agree with Steve about growing up in the 50s. There were enough kids around to play the games he mentioned along with softball, Tickle Witch, Moonlight Starlight, Cops and Robbers, Combat (based on the TV show), and Cowboys and Indians (admittedly not politically correct now but not an issue back then). Our town was small enough (~500) that everybody knew everybody else. We could drop our bikes by the side of the road while going off to explore the creek or climb trees, knowing that the bikes would still be there when we were done. There were also community sponsored activities like swimming lessons at a lake that was 20 minutes away by school bus, baton lessons, and crafts. Later into the 60s, summer marching band kept quite a few of us busy with rehearsals and parades. The town blew the fire whistle once three times a day – noon, 5:30P (store closing), and 9P (curfew), which was when we needed to be back home. It really was a great time to grow up.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I like your mentioning bikes. For kids in the Fifties, girls as well as boys, bikes were magic carpets that offered access to any place in or near town. With my bike I played in places that were several miles from my home.

      When I left home on my bike or on foot, my mom might shout, “Where ya going?” The answer was always, “Out!” “Whatcha going to do?” “Play!”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. They don’t make cans like they used to. When I was a kid, littering was the almost universal practice. I could walk into a rural ditch anywhere, stick my hand down in the weeds and grab a beer can to kick. Today’s beverage cans are made of aluminum, light and squishy. Cans in the Fifties were heavy and hard. You could almost have knocked yourself out if you hit your head with one. Cans were tough enough for a lot of kicks. And if you lost one (on a country road, I mean) you could put your hand down in any ditch and come up with another.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. More memories keep popping up – roller skating with the skates you attached to your shoes with a key, playing at construction sites when new houses were being built, playing Barbie dolls with a classmate using the back of her family’s station wagon as the house, and playing in the ruins of a potato factory at the edge of town. My family took several summer vacations: twice to Seattle, once to upstate New York, and once to Maine – all to visit relatives. We also took two trips to Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba in the mid 60s.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. box hockey 4 square and tetherball at the day play area at the school at the bottom of the hill.
    day camp would happen for two weeks and take is off to the creek or the lake to study building fires or hunting berries.
    i like to go to swimming class but i burned through them so fast i was at lifeguard level at age 9 and they hadnt had that come up before so they told me to stop.
    one day camp counselor had an outing to the lake and out in the middle was the big dock and he said anyone with a lifesavers level badge could go. i said ok and he had to be convinced that i had it. he wasnt expecting to have to allow it.
    we also went to detroit lake so hang with cousins two weeks a year including the 4th of july
    detroit lake was fishing and water sking and smoking cigerettes with cousins. nothin better .

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Pretty much what everybody else said so far. I was born in 1956, so I “grew up” mostly in the ’60s. Lots of biking, outdoor play with neighbor kids, annual camping trips with the family, BASEBALL, swimming lessons, tennis lessons, going to the neighborhood park almost every day. I loved Knox (sp?) hockey, tetherball, and just hanging out with the park leaders. I even won the St. Louis Park “citywide parks” chess championship when I was about 12. Got a little plastic trophy and everything. But I think there were maybe 8 or 10 kids who went to the parks AND knew how to play chess back then, so it wasn’t exactly Fisher vs. Spassky.

    My dad also took me on canoe trips to the BWCAW and a lot of the whitewater rivers in the area–Namakagon, Upper St. Croix, Snake, Sunrise. Not sure if we ever did the Kettle.

    When I got older, we’d ride our bikes to Cedar or Calhoun (Bde Maka Ska) or Harriet and swim and surreptitiously leer at the pretty girls in bikinis. Also took the bus downtown to watch movies all day at the Mann or one of the other theaters downtown. Back then, you could buy one ticket (for about a dollar) and watch the movie as many times as you could stand. I think my buddies and I watched “Billy Jack” three times in one afternoon.

    Also played a lot of touch football, softball, had sleepovers at friends’ houses, and played penny-ante poker until the wee hours.

    Steve is right. The ’50s and early ’60s were just about the best time to be a kid that there ever was in modern history. (But of course, we were white, middle-class, two-parent households with stable jobs, affordable housing, and nearly non-existent crime. It SHOULD have been ideal.)

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Before the Fifties, kids often had to work because families needed all the sources of income they could garner. The postwar economy of the Fifties meant that kids were free to play the summer, or maybe play most of the time and mow lawns or deliver papers to earn spending money. By the 1960s, fears about personal security shut down the freedoms we enjoyed in the Fifties. As a kid, I was never under adult supervision in the summer. A kid today is virtually never out of adult supervision. I suppose there is good and bad in each way of living, but I’m extremely grateful I lived in a time when kids were free to create their own world in summer.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I agree. Other than baseball coaches a few times a week, we were encouraged to “go outside and play.” Mom probably couldn’t stand having kids around after a nice long school year with 8 blissful hours per day “she time.”


        Liked by 2 people

  10. The inner ring suburbs like Robbinsdale and Hopkins had been small towns in their own right before they were considered suburbs and they still retained a small town vibe when i was growing up. I was in Robbinsdale, near to the border with Golden Valley, and there were still large swathes of yet-to-be developed land where kids could bike to the woods and roam around there all day. The entire Theodore Wirth Park was within range and it was commonplace for kids to be gone all day exploring. Downtown Robbinsdale, was, as I said, like a small town, with dime stores, drug stores, the library and the hobby shop where we bought our model cars and airplanes. My Dad had also grown up in Robbinsdale, so he had deep roots there and knew all the families that had been there for generations.

    When I was about ten, my parents bought lake property about 45 minutes drive from Robbinsdale and proceeded to build a cabin there.
    Shortly thereafter, several neighbors from our block also bought property and built cabins. Because it was a commutable distance from town, in the summer the mothers and kids would relocate to the cabins and the fathers would leave in the morning and return in the evening.

    So, much of my summers from that point on were spent doing what kids do at the lake—swimming, fishing, water skiing. I had a little wooden rowboat I would row all over the lake. There was a large patch of woods across the road from the lakeshore, so we would also spend chunks of time up there, with our BB guns and slingshots.

    Because our neighbors at home were also our neighbors at the lake, we had a ready-made gang of compatriots. Since the lake was right on the edge of town, we also got to know the town kids, as well as kids from other cabins on the lake. As we entered into our teen years we tended to spend as much time with our town friends as we did at the cabins.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. There were few places to swim in summer. I think there were indoor pools associated with the university, but kids without connections or money had one place to go: Carr’s Pool. It wasn’t fancy, but it was a pool, and in summer we all went there.

    I was a shy kid, reluctant to strip in the dressing area, so I’d wait until I was alone. When you left the dressing area, the only way out forced you to walk through a disgusting pool of green slime that was meant to counter diseases on your feet. The worst-kept secret in town was that boys would bore little peepholes in the boards of the girls’ dressing area.

    Carr’s was a noisy, loosely run operation, which didn’t bother me as a kid. The Carr family had about five adopted kids. My folks told me that families would dump kids near Carr’s Pool the way people dump unwanted kittens or puppies. The idea was kids would enjoy growing up with a swimming pool for a home. Actually, the adoptions were all the usual kind. The Carrs just had big hearts that motivated them to adopt a lot of kids.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Because most of my summer fun times have already been mentioned, I’ll copy a couple of paragraphs from my Trailer Court post of July 2015: https://trailbaboon.com/2015/07/29/the-trailer-court/

    “Turned out the original trailer court was full, and the “overflow court” where we landed was a gravel parking lot between CSC’s football and baseball fields. This was Kid Heaven, as the football grandstand was our castle, the baseball dugouts were low enough on one side to be climbed on, and the ticket booths were unlocked – available for a play house, hide-out, and selling stuff. We kids created our own newspaper, played hearts at Doug M.’s converted school bus in the evening, got books from the bi-weekly bookmobile. By the third summer I was 12, and had my first jobs: babysitting (heck, my mom was right across the lot), and some ironing in the washhouse.

    My sis and I spent time on campus practicing in the piano rooms of the music building, while Mom sang in the Summer Chorus. (Yes, she left us on our own for a whole hour!) Wednesday nights on campus was Family Fun Night, with an outdoor movie (i.e. The Seven Voyages of Sinbad), concessions, and games. Some weekends we took day trips to Denver to Elitch’s Amusement Park or the Natural History Museum, or Estes Park in the Rockies. We have home movies of Mom typing one of Dad’s papers on a picnic table next to the Big Thompson River, as Sue and I dangled our feet from a boulder in the icy stream.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. And more memories: Swimming lessons were held at two of three “resorts” on the lake, consisting of a few cabins, a small campground, and a small store. After our lessons we would all pile into the store to buy candy such as Bit ‘O Honey, Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy (usually to take home and freeze so we could smash it into pieces), candy cigarettes, Necco wafers, Pixie Stix, those disgusting tiny wax bottles of “pop”, Rainbow Taffy, Double Bubble Gum, Jaw breakers, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, etc. A quarter usually sufficed to get our fill of such nutritious snacks.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. My childhood summer memories are a glorious mess of experiences and memories closely connected to specific places and people. There’s a treasure trove of those images still firmly implanted in my brain.

    There was the summer when I was nine when my mother arranged for me to visit my dad’s sister, Randi, and her mail carrier husband, Willy, who lived in an apartment in the inner city of Copenhagen. There I spent two glorious weeks hanging out with her two boys and their friends, one of whom was the son of a locksmith. These were all inner-city latchkey kids, and all boys, and they were determined to show me, a country bumpkin and a girl, the allure of city living. We spent considerable time loitering around the neighborhood, and learning how to pick locks. Not as in breaking into places, but as a useful skill to be practiced.

    Sometimes we walked to a neighboring chain of lakes, to throw rocks in the water and feed the swans, but mostly we just aimlessly roamed around. Randy took me swimming at a local indoor pool a couple of evenings a week, something I had never experiences before. I recall specifically taking a shower with her before entering the pool and wondering about the scar she had running from her bellybutton to he pubic hair. In the steam bath I asked her if that was where the babies came out. She told me no, she had had an operation, but I was skeptical. Where else could they come out? It remained a mystery to me for years.

    Liked by 4 people

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